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Health

Aetna Health Insurance Leaving California – Recommended Replacement Plans

Aetna Health Insurance announced they are leaving the California marketplace for individual and family plans. The end date of all their plans is December 31, 2013. All 49,000 Aetna clients still have six months to figure out what health plan they should move to. In this article we’ll give you a simple mapping that recommends which plans you should move to based upon the Aetna health plan you currently have, a “gotcha” to watch out for, and a couple of silver linings to feel good about.

The simplest way to replace your Aetna Health Insurance is to simply look for an alternative plan with the same (or similar) deductible amount. The recommendations below will make that easy to do. With just a little more effort, you could re-think what you need in yearly medical benefits and pick a plan the is a better fit for your current needs. Either way, you should be able to find a good solution listed below.

Aetna Health Insurance Underwriting Is More Lenient

This will be the gotcha for some people. Aetna has always been more willing to accept people with some health conditions. I know a number of my clients are in Aetna plans because they had specific health conditions that the other carriers either would not accept, or would “rate” much higher than Aetna. So this is something you have to be aware of and be careful about.

If you have existing health conditions, or are “too short” (okay… a little over-weight), or have a rated plan with Aetna, then you should definitely talk to a broker before you apply with another health insurance company. You’ll want to have the broker do Pre-Screen Requests for you to see how the other insurance companies will treat your application.

It’s important to do the pre-screen step first, because if you just pick a health plan, apply for it, and then get declined or rated even higher, it will be very hard to get other insurance companies to consider your application.
Let’s start mapping replacement plans…

Aetna Open Access MC Value Plan Alternatives

The Aetna Open Access Value plans are Aetna’s low-cost option. The Value plans offer a number of different deductibles, $8,000, $5,000, $2,500, and provide 3 office visits for a simple copay, and coverage for Generic prescriptions.

This plan description matches very closely to what is offered in the Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense plans. If you only need two office visits rather than three, then the best choices are the Health Net PPO Advantage plans and the ClearProtection plan from Anthem Blue Cross.

If cost of the plan is one of your major factors, then here is how the alternative plans above should be used.

Health Net PPO Advantage 3500 – offers the best overall value (cost vs benefits)
Health Net PPO Advantage 6500 – is usually the lowest cost option
Anthem Blue Cross ClearProtection 3300 – Anthem’s lowest cost solution
Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense 6000 – closest match to Aetna’s Open Access Value 8000, but lower cost
Anthem Blue Cross SmartSense 3500, 2000, 1000 – if you feel more comfortable with lower deductibles
In the majority of cases, the alternative plans from Anthem and Health Net will be lower cost than the comparable Aetna Value plans. You’ll need to review health insurance quotes to see how the pricing looks for your location in California.

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Automotive

Automotive Advertising Agencies Must Use Yesterday’s Knowledge & Tomorrow’s Technology to Survive

Automotive advertising agencies who expect to be here tomorrow must apply tomorrow’s technology today or they will follow their shuttered auto dealer clients into the ranks of the unemployed. The consolidation of the auto industry is a necessary reaction to a shrinking economy and the proof of two basic rules of business — supply must follow demand and survival of the fittest insures that it will. The secret to survival for automotive advertising agencies and their auto dealer clients in a challenging market is to offer more for less and the technology being designed to improve sales processes on the Internet provide efficiencies that will determine the winners and the losers.

Integrating proven real world automotive advertising best practices with maturing virtual world selling processes that rely on developing technology on the Internet allows forward thinking automotive advertising agencies to blur the line between the real world of brick and mortar auto dealerships and the new virtual showrooms being built on the Internet Super Highway. Automotive advertising 101 teaches that you must go where your customers are if you want to reach them and with 93% of car shoppers confirming that they start their car buying process on the Internet that part of the marketing and sales process is easy. The hard part that automotive advertising agencies must recognize is that the one constant that has survived on the World Wide Web is human nature. Customers empowered by the easy access of information on the Internet are no longer dependent on auto dealerships — real or virtual — to determine what vehicle they will purchase and who they will buy it from. Online shoppers are looking for a new or used vehicle, not an auto dealership, and automotive advertising agencies need to convert from push/pull advertising methods to pull/push techniques preferred by an educated consumer.

Of course there is no need to throw the baby out with the bath water! Automotive advertising agencies must use conventional wisdoms built on the stable foundation of human nature supported by the efficiencies offered by new automotive advertising applications designed to crash through the glass wall of the Internet to preserve both market share and profits for their auto dealer clients. The easiest way to satisfy the customer and the auto dealer — in that order — is to give the customers what they want, when they want it — which is immediately — and to do it in such a way that the customers feel that they are buying a vehicle vs. being sold one. That is where the use of new automotive advertising technology and the related improved selling processes come in.

Giving the customers what they want — which is a vehicle not an auto dealership — suggests that automotive advertising agencies must promote individual vehicles on the Internet, not their auto dealer clients. While this may seem counter intuitive to old school car guys who presume that they must sell themselves before they can sell their vehicles, it is in keeping with equally established wisdom that suggest that automotive advertising doesn’t sell cars it just attracts customers who want to buy one. Simply put, the best advertising message in the world has no value if no one sees it and since customers are searching the web for individual vehicles that is the bait that will have them bite the hook that has the auto dealer on the other end of the line.

It is an accepted fact that cars sell cars and brick and mortar auto dealerships have gravitated to car rows or auto malls to take advantage of the attraction of having as many vehicles as possible in one location to draw real world car shoppers to their individual facilities. The leveraged advertising of multiple competing dealerships and the added value and convenience of one stop shopping for comparable makes and models at one central location is a value for consumers that has survived on the Internet Super Highway. Established third party inventory based websites have a proven place in today’s online automotive advertising plans. Most auto dealerships already rely on the leverage of their collected inventories of literally millions of vehicles from thousands of auto dealerships to attract online new and used vehicle shoppers. The search engine optimization, S.E.O., realized by these third party sites coupled with their localized search engine marketing, S.E.M., investments drawn from the collected revenues of the auto dealer clients that participate in these communal sites provide a competitive advantage that no individual dealer or even a large dealer group can compete with. New technologies being applied to this established business model promise an even better return on investment, R.O.I., for the auto dealers that participate.

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Automotive

Automotive Rapid Prototyping Fail First Paradox

New product development and innovation is much more difficult and time consuming than most other business activities. Automotive rapid prototyping greatly enhances learning speed and reduces the risk of new automotive parts development.

Historically, the automotive industry has been using rapid prototyping as an important tool in the automotive parts design process. The extremely fast-paced automotive design cycles require an extremely fast prototyping system which can produce car parts fast and inexpensively.

The main objective of automotive prototyping is to learn quickly: how a new automotive product behaves in its natural working environment, before transferring the prototype to the production line. Many times, mistakes are learned only after a new automotive part is launched. This is the main explanation for poor automotive parts design, from product mismatch, poor engineering and function or finish, and overpriced production. In order to accelerate the learning curve, before these costly automotive prototyping mistakes are made, one must accelerate and facilitate feedback loops from tests in the lab and market trials.

Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Working with an assortment of rapid prototyping equipment, automotive prototyping engineers utilize the most advanced 3D printers, in their quest for perfect form, function and utility. Working in advanced manufacturing centers, the automotive engineers use the technology to verify what they are doing, and, equally important, to save tremendous amounts of time, and money.

Automotive Rapid Prototyping Compresses Development Time

The advantages of 3D rapid prototyping model creation versus viewing a cad/cam model on a computer screen is palpable. Automotive parts engineers get together discuss the pros and cons of a rapidly produced automotive parts model and discuss the pros and cons of the design, as they pass it around, twisting and viewing the prototype, and decide if that is what they had in mind. This way, problems get solved up front, before going to the assembly line! Once determined that the automotive prototype design is a go, the model can then be sent to a die maker.

Automotive Prototyping and the Die Maker Process

The die maker cannot use model to make the die, but because they have it in their hand and can look at it and feel it, they can determine where the parting lines will be and exactly how much steel they will need to produce it. The timing of the die process is greatly compressed.

Examples of Automotive Rapid Prototyping Parts

· Engine castings and parts

· Car Engine parts

· Auto Mechanical parts

· Car Dashboards

· Car Handles and Knobs

· Auto Body Components

· Car Trim parts

Fail first Paradox in Automotive Rapid Prototyping

The automotive rapid prototyping paradox is to fail earlier rather than later. By failing earlier, the design engineers surprisingly succeed in accelerating the project; this greatly reduces development cost risk. By considering all automotive prototype failures as learning experiments, the engineer has much less stress, knowing that they are practicing the old adage, that success comes from ninety-nine percent failure and introspection.

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Automotive

Automotive and Diagnostic Equipment Financing

Automotive tools are highly specialized in nature. Many a time a particular automotive tool serves only a single purpose. Therefore it is essential to have a set of automotive tools in order to avoid any interruptions in the business. However the automotive tool set is extremely expensive. At times, the cost of the tool is more than the cost of vehicle that needs repair. Sometimes the cost of tool set may be more than the vehicle needs to be repaired. Hence automotive tool financing is becoming essential nowadays.

There are some legitimate financing companies have an expertise in financing automotive tools. You can seek their help by submitting an online application provided by them. They ensure fast approval of the amount required to acquire automotive tool set.

Automotive tools financing is normally available under various options. Automotive Air compressor is one among them which helps in acquiring the equipment which costs thousands of dollars. There are various types of compressors like compact air compressor, piston compressor, single stage compressor, two stage compressor and so on. Due to automotive tool financing it is possible for almost all companies to acquire any of the aforementioned types of air compressors.

Automotive hand tool financing is required to keep ready a well-equipped set of hand tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, clamps, sockets, installer or remover equipments etc. These tools are indispensable for running an automotive repairing business. Acquiring any one of them is affordable to all. But keeping a set of such tools is really expensive and hence the need for automotive hand tool financing is essential.

Welder financing is yet another category of automotive tool financing. A high quality welder is important for the automotive business. There are some precise welders like arc welder, stick welder, TIG welder, and MIG welder and so on. They are essential to apply heat in a given area. The sophisticated nature of the welders raises their price tags and that’s why automotive repair business people go for automotive tool financing to acquire them.

Automotive waste and recycling equipment are required by certain companies for disposing the hazardous wastes in a safer way. In fact many shops find it profitable to recycle the wastes. Therefore such equipments are becoming essential in an automotive repair shops. They are highly expensive and as a result of which automotive tool financing is required to acquire these equipments.

Brake lathe is yet important equipment in any automotive repair shops. They allow you to work on all types of brakes. You may need a combination of brake lathe, heavy duty brake lathe or car brake lathe depending upon the type of your business. However any type of brake lathe is expensive and not possible within the reach of all. Hence brake lathe financing is essential.

The automotive industry has undergone several changes in the past hundred years. Keeping yourself updated of the changes and using the latest equipment can help increase your revenues. Though essential, this equipment is very expensive and so seeking the help of a financing company is required. Some genuine financing companies offer assistance to acquire automotive tools without any frustrating procedures.

Categories
Automotive

The Automotive Employment Market Is Still an Open Playing Field

In the automotive employment market there are still very attractive job opportunities available all over the world. So if you are in the automotive employment market and want to make a change there are still a lot of opportunities all over the world.

In this modern world there do exist a massive shortage highly skilled automotive technicians all over the world. So if you are a highly skilled auto technician you can choose where you want to work in the world.

By just applying on one of the many automotive recruitment companies web pages, and they will search a job opportunity for you any place in the world. The fact is that a lot of emerging automotive markets have opened up in reasoned years, due to the power shift in the automotive industry.

This automotive employment market is going to become even bigger in the future as all new type of cars is going to hit the market. Like all the “EV” cars that are still in the prototype phase. All these cars will have new technology implemented into them, so new personnel must be trained to work on them in the future.

This will bring a paradigm shift into this automotive employment market, even the training methods and the skill sets that must be trained have to change in the very near future.

This will cause the manufacturers to start running extensive training and develop programs, to have highly skilled technicians to assist them to establish their brand. There will be coming new brands and brand name into the playing field and these brands will need to still build their names in the market place.

To build a brand name you need a powerful after sales service you can assist your customers with. This alone will create a new automotive employment market to the auto industry; just imagine an electronic or chemical engineer working at your local car dealership.

It may sound farfetched but it is possible as the cars in the future will be driven with power plants like fuel cells, hydrogen emission and electric motors. All of this is going to come to the market place in this modern world sooner than most of us do realize. So the predictions are that a big portion of the existing automotive workforce will leave.

They will leave this workforce as they are from the old school with old school principles that will become extinct with this new technology. The human tendencies are that you will stay ignorant if you become a member of the old school club. This only happens as the older people were conditioned that they can only learn something up to a certain age. All of us know this is not true but the system wants them to leave as it is harder to change and old horse to get rid of his or her habits

The system was created to develop a group of slaves that would be easier to condition, into what this slave system needs and not what the workers needs. That is one of the reasons why the older leading hands in the automotive employment market gets removed or retrenched. The general modern business conceptions are that older people are resisters to modern business, as they don’t want to change.

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Business

3 Surefire Ways to Know If You’re Ready to Hire an Online Business Manager

Are you a woman entrepreneur who’s frustrated in your 6-7 figure business?

Are you feeling overwhelmed, over-stressed, and not sure where to turn?

Are you so busy doing everything in your business that you never have time to focus on those high level tasks that will truly bring direct growth to your business?

Your business may be ready to hire an Online Business Manager (OBM).

When your business has grown to multiple 6-7-figures, it will require that you begin to step into a CEO and Visionary role to lead your business to higher levels of growth. The business now has a life of its own and if you stay in the doing role too long, you will lose control of your vision.

If you’re like most women business owners, you started your business for some or all of the following reasons:

You wanted control over your time and the money you make
You wanted your work to have an impact in the world
Sick of the 9-5 grind
Have a business you can schedule around your family and personal goals
Commit to something bigger than yourself
Create financial and time freedom
If you have a multiple 6-7-figure business, it may be time to step out of the tasks of day-to-day operations and management. You’re the only one who can lead your company to the next levels. You alone know how to move your business forward. Time and focus are now in high demand for you to lead your company to the next level.
The result of not stepping up will be that the business will begin to stagnate – you’ll hit the ceiling in ability to grow any further. You’ll need to stop trying to do and manage everything on your own because it’s simply not sustainable. You need help in business. At this phase in your business, you have a team that executes tasks.

Now the role you’ll want to hire will be an Online Business Manager, an Integrator, who can take your dreams and goals and make them a reality. You need someone who can effectively step in and manage your team, manage your day-to-day operations and marketing management, manage projects, and analyze and report metrics to determine what’s working – and what’s not.

If you can’t get out from behind the manager’s desk, frustration will overwhelm you… if it hasn’t already. You’ll struggle with “hitting the ceiling” and “feeling stuck” – if you aren’t already. Your life and relationships will suffer because you’re working a crazy number of hours every day just to keep things going. You cannot keep up this pace, and eventually something will give. You’ll burn out. I’ve seen it countless times.

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Business

Are You Winging It In Your Business?

Are you so busy that you feel like you’ve fallen off track?

Are your deadlines more like suggestions?

Do you feel like your business is struggling, has lost its focus, or is out of control?

Do you feel like you have no control over what happens day-to-day?

If so, you just might be winging it in your business.

If you feel like that proverbial chicken with its head cut off, you’re not working according to your plans and goals. You might be extremely busy, but are you productive? The two are not the same. Being busy may mean you’re simply going with the flow and doing what you need to at the moment to keep the business going.

Again, you’re winging it. You’re flying by the seat of your pants and don’t have the focus or the control you need to keep your business on goal. When you’re not in control, you’re not productive.

And if you, the CEO and Visionary, aren’t being productive, your business is simply treading water and not growing.

When your time is focused primarily on daily tasks and busy work inside your business, you don’t have time or energy to create goals and plans to help make your business thrive. All you do is put out fires, and you don’t have time to train your team to avoid setting fires in the first place.

You’re winging it, not working it. You’re wasting precious time doing things someone else needs to be doing. You’re not delegating effectively (or at all), and you’re mistaking being busy for being productive.

At the end of the day, you’re not helping your business to profit because you’re stuck doing everything but high-level, revenue-producing activities.

This is not a judgment. I’ve seen this too many times with my clients, and in the past I did my share of winging it. I was so busy dealing with emergencies and distractions that I couldn’t focus on my real job in the business, the CEO role.

Categories
Business

What You’re Doing Wrong As An Entrepreneur Or In Your Small Business

Business owners and entrepreneurs are not always good at asking for help. Be honest, when did you last reach out to someone? Perhaps this is the reason why they are entrepreneurs in the first place. Business owners are self motivated and self reliant. But if you’re operating a business in this way, it could be the one thing which stands in the way of progress.

Entrepreneurs are hard workers too and will work hard in areas which many people wouldn’t consider. They look forward to the long term effects of their actions rather than for immediate rewards. Often business owners have built up their businesses over many years of difficulties and sacrifice.

However, thinking into the cause and effects of all this work there is one thing in common: you. As the ‘owner’ of a business it can be easy to become complacent. Perhaps business growth isn’t what it should be? You are always the limiting factor in your life. Unless you are growing, your business isn’t.

If you keep operating from the belief that you know everything, you will always keep getting the same results in your business, and in your life. Growing in awareness and developing your self along with your business is what smart entrepreneurs do.

Working Hard And Smart

It can be easy to run things ‘as you’ve always run things’. You can get stuck in a mode of operation, especially if you’re largely on your own. But working hard and working smart are not the same things. You need to get smart about working hard if you are to make any progress. Don’t become a ‘busy fool’ doing those things which you have always done, just because it’s always been that way.

Smart business owners know this, and work hard at learning what the best activities are to move their business forward. This ‘trap’ of working as a ‘technician’ in the role of an entrepreneur is easy to fall into. This is especially true if you have recently ‘graduated’ from a role as an employee to that of an ‘owner’.

The role of an employee is to listen to your boss and do the best for them. You are paid by the hour, or for work done. An owner on the other hand isn’t paid for their time. They get paid when the business makes a profit. As such this is an entirely different role. Ask yourself whether you are playing a ‘technician’ role in your business. Should you be doing things differently? Can someone else be employed to do what you are doing? If so the answer should seem obvious. Your role should be the ‘driving engine’ of the business, the overseer and the planner.

Categories
Business

10 Reasons Why You Should Start An Online Business

Whether you are attracted to an internet business because you hate your current job, want to improve your circumstances, or would like a more flexible lifestyle, the internet offers all these opportunities.

Why An Internet Business?

1- Flexibility

Many people come to find themselves with an internet business through necessity rather than deliberate creation. For me, I needed a flexible job which I could work around contract work. It didn’t come in often but when the phone rang, I needed to take the work. This presented all kinds of problems. Normal work didn’t pay as well and employers didn’t want me taking large chunks of time off when the other work came in!

I tried juggling several jobs over a number of years but nothing seemed to fit. At around the same time I was attempting to use e-bay to buy and sell for a bit of extra money. It wasn’t until later that I discovered affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, for those who don’t know is a kind of referral selling. You point links from your website to other people’s goods and services. The link is tracked so that when you make a sale you are rewarded for it with a commission.

Once you know how to do this you can set up links from your online content to other people’s products and services. You can also use paid advertising to find people all over the world to sell to. This was perfect for my work because I could take my laptop anywhere with me and as long as I had an internet connection I could work. It didn’t interfere with the work when it came up, I had no boss to answer to so it was the perfect solution.

2 – Automation

There’s also a number of other reasons why I chose an internet business – and why you should too! The flexibility of the business was my primary concern. I wanted to be able to choose my own hours so I could take work when it came without any complications. But the other reason I chose this particular model was the ability to use technology to ‘leverage’ my time and income.

Once I had a website and content up and running, it kept going and I was able to make sales and deliver products without being physically present. This is the ‘magic’ of an online business. The automation involved with an online business means that you can do the work once and let that work keep running in the background. You can make sales and deliver products over and over through the same piece of content or advert, which can run an virtual autopilot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

Each piece of content you create can send people to a landing page and sell a product. By creating many pieces of content and sharing them online you can build multiple sources of income which can all run continually, working as your own ‘automated sales team’.

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